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Deloitte to shut four UK offices as COVID-19 entrenches remote working

·1-min read
Offices of Deloitte are seen in London
Offices of Deloitte are seen in London

(Reuters) - Global accounting and consulting firm Deloitte will close four of its 50 British offices as it reviews its real estate portfolio in the coronavirus pandemic, but will retain the staff on work-from-home contracts, it said on Saturday.

COVID-19 has changed working life for millions of people around the world, many of whom have switched from offices to working from home - reducing demand for office space and prompting companies to opt out of renewing leases.

Deloitte said it would shut its offices in Gatwick, Liverpool, Nottingham and Southampton, where about 500 people work.

"COVID-19 has fast-tracked our future of work programme, leading us to review our real estate portfolio," Stephen Griggs, Deloitte's UK managing partner, said in an emailed statement.

He said all staff based at the four locations slated for closure would continue to be employed by Deloitte under permanent work-from-home contracts.

"Any proposed change is to our 'bricks and mortar', not our presence in these regions", he said.

The Financial Times newspaper first reported on the closures.

In April, Deloitte said it would be cutting pay for partners at its British businesses by 20% to protect jobs during the coronavirus crisis.

(Reporting by Rebekah Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Helen Popper and Kevin Liffey)